Oversight board balks at funding parking study

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One of Pittsburgh's financial oversight boards this morning says it wants some answers before voting on City Council's request to spend $250,000 on a study of city parking garages and meters.

Members of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority have insisted that council halt negotiations with consultants because the ICA hadn't approved the expenditure.

At their regularly scheduled meeting this morning, ICA members said they want to know how and where council found $250,000 left over from 1998 capital projects to fund the study. They also want to know whether other unused pots of money exist.

Council authorized the study June 2 in preparation for a coming vote on Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's plan to lease parking garages and meters to a private party -- a deal he hopes will net $200 million to pump into the city pension plan.

Council budget director Bill Urbanic told the ICA that time for completing the study is running short, and he urged the board to approve the expenditure promptly. He said he'd do his part to answer the ICA questions as quickly as possible.



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